The sensory biology of evasive flight in eared moths

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HÜGEL, Theresa, 2020. The sensory biology of evasive flight in eared moths [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Hugel2020senso-50419, title={The sensory biology of evasive flight in eared moths}, year={2020}, author={Hügel, Theresa}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

<rdf:RDF xmlns:dcterms="" xmlns:dc="" xmlns:rdf="" xmlns:bibo="" xmlns:dspace="" xmlns:foaf="" xmlns:void="" xmlns:xsd="" > <rdf:Description rdf:about=""> <bibo:uri rdf:resource=""/> <foaf:homepage rdf:resource="http://localhost:8080/jspui"/> <dcterms:rights rdf:resource=""/> <dc:contributor>Hügel, Theresa</dc:contributor> <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Animals constantly probe their environment by using their senses. These senses specialised over evolutionary timespans, so that they filter out non-relevant information but are at the same time especially sensitive to important signals and cues. For example, in the case of predator avoidance it is especially important to detect predators in time, in order to allow prey to escape and thus increase their chances of survival. The predator-prey interaction between bats and eared moths offers an excellent opportunity to study predator-detection. In this model system, predator cues get transferred acoustically and is ultimately received by the moth’s ears, which are among the simplest ears in the animal kingdom. Indeed, the moth ear and its neuronal response to bat echolocation calls is well understood. However, little is known about how this neuronal activity is linked to the evasive flight behaviours of moths, even though it is the trait that evolutionary pressure acts upon. In this thesis, I examined how sensory input converts into behavioural responses in the case of predator cues that lead to evasive movement. I studied this relationship using eared moths as a model system. Specifically, I studied how sensory input, coding for the same predation pressure, triggers different behavioural responses in different moth species. I also quantified how different parameters of a sensory input affect the behavioural output within one moth species. Furthermore, I studied how additional sensory input, in form of light, affects behavioural responses, explicitly how it alters evasive flight in moths. Evasive movement is supposed to be unpredictable and thus to prevent the predator from foreseeing and intercepting the prey’s flight path. Yet, in eared moths, a certain level of stereotypy in evasive flight has previously been reported. In Chapter 2, I tested the escape tactic diversity hypothesis, which postulates that on a species-level evasive movement might be stereotypical, but that different species within a mixed-species group elicit different types of evasive movement and therefore increase the unpredictability of the whole group. I was able to confirm this hypothesis for a mixed-species group of eared moths. In Chapter 3, I investigated the effect different parameters of sensory input have on evasive flight behaviour of eared moths. For this I exposed moths to stimuli of different length and temporal pattern and therefore different amounts of acoustic energy. I found that an increase in perceived acoustic energy over time correlated with increased flight strength. Taken together with the known neuronal response of the auditory neurones, I concluded that this received acoustic energy is not only integrated on the level of the auditory neurons, but also on a behavioural level. Further, I recorded behavioural audiograms and compared them to known neuronal audiograms. This comparison revealed the relationship between neuronal and behavioural thresholds. As sensory input is rarely limited to one sense at a time, I studied multisensory integration of sensory input using light as an additional stimulus to acoustic stimulation. In Chapter 3 I exposed fixed, and in Chapter 4 free-flying moths to both acoustic and visual stimuli and measured their behavioural responses. For fixed moths, I was not only able to quantify the supressing effect of light on evasive flight, but also how light affected their normal flight behaviour. Furthermore, light might have a suppressive effect on the capability of free-flying moths to avoid their predators, but high fluctuation of natural moth occurrence made it impossible to draw final conclusions in this last experiment. With this thesis, I have contributed to a better understanding of the sensory biology of eared moths and broadened our knowledge about anti-predator mechanisms in this group. I have demonstrated that a mixed-species group can increase protection against a common predator by showing species-specific evasive responses. Furthermore, I showed how sensory input converts to behavioural output and thus identified predator cues, which might be of decisive behavioural importance for eared moths. Finally, I have contributed important knowledge about the effect of light on flight behaviour in moths, which has an impact on the balance of this predator-prey system.</dcterms:abstract> <dcterms:isPartOf rdf:resource=""/> <void:sparqlEndpoint rdf:resource="http://localhost/fuseki/dspace/sparql"/> <dc:date rdf:datatype="">2020-08-03T10:42:32Z</dc:date> <dc:creator>Hügel, Theresa</dc:creator> <dcterms:title>The sensory biology of evasive flight in eared moths</dcterms:title> <dc:rights>terms-of-use</dc:rights> <dspace:isPartOfCollection rdf:resource=""/> <dcterms:available rdf:datatype="">2020-08-03T10:42:32Z</dcterms:available> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <dcterms:issued>2020</dcterms:issued> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

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